Job 20:1-22:30, 2 Corinthians 1:1-11, Psalm 40:11-17, Proverbs 22:2-4
Today is August 25th, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you today, as we do what we do, gather and take the next step forward together. So, it’s good to be around the Global Campfire today as we move forward together. And our next move forward is certainly the next step after where we left off, which leads us back into the book of Job, where conversation between Job and his friends is turned a little bit more aggressive, a bit more argumentative. Mostly because Job is holding onto innocence and his friends are defending God saying that can’t be, and so Job has some more to say about that. Today, Job chapters 16, 17, 18 and 19.
Okay so, in the book of Job, we can see in the conversation, that it has gotten agitated, even to the point where like, some insults are being hurled at each other. Job’s friends are exasperated, they cannot understand where he is coming from, they understand what he is saying, they understand what he is declaring about himself, that he is innocent and what he is experiencing has no justice in it at all. But that doesn’t make any sense to them, they can’t comprehend what he is saying, especially when what he is saying is that God has treated him unjustly. And so, we can look at the agitation of the friends and even the agitation of Job in the way that they’re going at each other and go, come on guys just calm down here like, man when we’re trying to explain something to someone or share our point of view and offer corrective advice or even comfort and there’s a lot of pushback and God is in the middle, we can see how we would get pretty agitated to, and we do this kind of stuff, including telling people where they’re going to go, if they if they don’t agree that we’re right. Like, we’re not really doing any better than Job’s friends, when it comes to a situation like this one. Because when we encounter something that’s problematic for us, we want the solution to the problem, so that the problem can be eradicated. And when we’re faced with something that we can’t comprehend and so, it…it forces us to question, we want the answer. I do, I’m like that. I have a lot of questions about a lot of things, and I would love to know the answer to all of them. But what I have found is that questions, lead to more questions and if we keep asking the questions, then at some point we reach the end of human wisdom. And the answer to the question is, nobody knows, which is frustrating, but it is also the place where faith begins. We don’t have to put our faith in what we already know, we already know it. Faith isn’t really required; faith keeps us reaching beyond ourselves. And Job is trying to reach beyond himself and finding frustration in the reach, at the same time he’s got his friends telling him that he’s on the wrong path altogether. He’s going about this the wrong way, which doesn’t bring Job all that much comfort at all. So, Job says, and I quote, “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are. Don’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.” Job has questions that he cannot find answers to but those questions themselves, are very disruptive to his friends, because they have a worldview and an understanding. And now Job is questioning all that because of the circumstances that he is in and so there’s this conflict. But if we think about our own experiences with grief and suffering and people who are in suffering, that we interact with, we realize that we have the same tendencies. We want to give the person some kind of advice that can correct and help them, we want to help them have some kind of perspective that will make some sense, even to us, because so often, when we’re giving the advice that we’re giving to a suffering person, we’re speaking to our own fears. That this might someday happen to us, we’re speaking at our own fears and faithlessness and that is fertile soil for conflict an argument because somebody needs to be right or there’s going to be a lot of disruption, and we become very insecure about what we think that we know, that we need to be right. And we’re watching this with Job and his friends, battle over who gets to be right. It’s just that Job thinks he is right. But what he wants is to find that out from God. And so, even in our reading today as we’re watching the back-and-forth, the agitation, even the insults that are happening between Job and his friends, we still see Job is unshakable in what he believes. Like, he has not deviated from the moment the tragedy began. He has stuck to his story. And like, even though he has all kinds of questions, what he seeks is God. To see God. Which brings us to a very famous passage from the book of Job, as Job is reaffirming his own position and it’s riveting, as for me, right, like, I don’t know about the rest of you, but as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives and He will stand upon the earth, at last, and after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God. I will see Him for myself. Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought. And just hearing Job say that I am overwhelmed at the thought too. To know that one day, we will see God. We will see God for ourselves. That is an overwhelming hope. So, regardless of what’s going on in the back-and-forth, what we are seeing is that Job has a sense of how things are and he’s staying to that, he believes he can be corrected. But the only one that can do that is God. And so, that is where his focus is. May we use this as a backdrop to contemplate our own lives and once again continue to look at our own seasons of wilderness and suffering and hardship, is that where we land? Do we listen to everyone else’s voice or is our hope utterly and completely in God? So that, we too, can say I know my Redeemer lives and He will stand upon the earth, at last, and after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God. I will see Him for myself. I will see Him with my own eyes. It’s an overwhelming thought.
And Father, it is an overwhelming thought. And our trials and tribulations and hardship and pain and suffering and grief and loss, they tear us down but they tear us down in such a way that we must reach for You as our only hope. Help us to examine our lives in the ways that we have tried to comfort ourselves or try to arrange for comfort or force comfort to be given to us in a way that we want, as opposed to a resolute steadfast pursuit of Your presence. Come, Holy Spirit into this we pray, in the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.